PVPA is a regional public charter school serving 400 students grades 7-12, from over 60 towns throughout Western Massachusetts. We seek to connect the creative process with critical thinking to inspire a love of learning. As a charter school, the work we do informs educational policy at local, state and national levels.
In referencing the main objective of a playwright, the Roman poet Horace wrote:
“A bard will wish to teach or to please
Or as tertium quid, do both of these.”
The PVPA Theater Department is dedicated to providing an enriching and engaging education both on and off the stage. Our aim is to combine classes which focus on the history, theory, literature, and cultural significance of theater with classes in performance, technique, and the creative process. We teach to students of all levels, from those who have no experience to those who are looking for advanced theater training. It is our belief that every student should have a chance to develop artistically and perform, and that the pursuit of a theater education is an exceptional way to developing critical and creative thinking skills.
Each year, PVPA produces a vibrant mix of performances and projects and throughout the Pioneer Valley. We perform two mainstage plays and a large-scale musical at the Academy of Music, a beautifully renovated opera house in downtown Northampton. In-house performances include one-act plays, student generated work, and the comic stylings of “Headgear”, our sketch troupe. The Theater Department regularly hosts visiting artists and performance troupes from around the world, some of which provide master classes. Additionally, our Children’s Theater, Commedia Dell’Arte, and Massachusetts Theater Guild troupes get a chance to “take the show on the road” with winter tours to local festivals and performances at area schools.
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